At United Way, we believe the key to crushing poverty in Erie County is making sure all students succeed and all families thrive.
That's why we launched the PA 211 Helpline for the Northwest Pennsylvania region in 2017. Since then, 50,155+ contacts to 211 have been made by residents in need in our community.
Annually, February 11 (2/11) is a day to celebrate the life-changing support made possible through the free, confidential, 24/7/365 helpline that is 211.
We recently connected with Paul Wotus, PA 211 Northwest Database Coordinator, to discuss his role and the impact 211 is making across the region.
"My role with the 211 Helpline involves coordinating and managing the information contained in the database. Overall, I am here to validate an agency's data and make certain the best information and referrals are given to those in need," said Wotus.
"Winter can be difficult for some, but 211 is a good place to guide and refer those who may be in need to the right place at the right time. 211 wants to be a front door to any needs one may have this winter and beyond," explained Wotus.
Years into his role Wotus is able to witness direct impact and is delighted to see callers getting the help they need. For example, Paul shared, "211 helps give information and referrals on back-to-school haircuts in the community. It is incredible to see the power 211 can put forth to assist families and children."
Moments like these reaffirm Paul's decision to join United Way through the 211 Helpline. Paul's involvement began as early as his college years when he interned with a local United Way. He mentioned, "I wanted to intern at an organization that values people and where community impact matters."
If you are connected to a community agency and would like to discuss your involvement or update your existing information in the database, please email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, as always, if you or someone you know is in need of assistance, simply dial 211. Help is just one call away.